Betrayal: Sting of Defeat

Day 3- 697 words (total 1, 969)

The pearl slipped from Leila’s fingers, bouncing into the rolling, frothing sea. She lunged after it, stumbling back as a woman appeared in front of her in a plume of purple smoke.

“I would not do that, child.” She said, each word emphasizing her toothless gums.

Leila bared her fangs, letting darkness gather around her threateningly.

“And who are you to oppose me?”

The woman laughed, eyes glowing with magic even before she lifted her palm.

“I am Risdaene.”

Her name sounded like a breath of air, said in one fluid motion. It sounded like mountains and caves and deep waters, clear skies and storms and meadows. Everything, but nothing.

Risdaene stood very still, the markings on her palm starting to shine with a blinding light. Leila was thrown back instantaneously, eyes filling with the light and wind whistling through her hair. She fell onto the rough sand, the momentum pushing her a full five yards before she was still.

Her mind was numbed, only one thought penetrating the fog. Hurt...pain...wet. Wet?!

Leila felt the liquid dripping from her mouth, eyes widening as she saw the bright red blood against her pale skin. She cursed under her breath, staggering to her feet just as Zekai ran towards her.

He took one look at her scraped hands and busted lip and ran at the witch, fuming with anger. Leila called to him, trying to tell him that it was pointless, but could only watch as he kept running. Risdaene did nothing as he neared but, just as he grabbed at her,  was off in another plume of dark purple smoke.

Wirre had been standing motionless the whole time, an unreadable expression on her face. It was only when Leila and Zekai approached her, the former somewhat battered, that she walked silently along the shore with them.

The sky suddenly darkened, heavy black clouds filling the sky. Electricity crackled within them, jumping and lighting up the night. Leila paused, raising her hands as the rain showered down. Shadows leapt at her, swirling around her as her cuts and bruises faded. They were plentiful; so much so that a massive column of shadow was surrounding her within moments, roaring with the storm’s winds. Companions and defeat forgotten, Leila drank in the beautiful blackness, soaked to the skin. Her yellow eyes swarmed with black, pupils no longer distinguishable. She let out an odd, sickly gasp, and collapsed.


The Falinn’s eyes blinked open, sluggishly.

“What in Lithilen was that, Zekai?”

Leila was in some kind of a hut, dry, on a straw mat. Her two traveling companions were with her, somewhat spooked. Zekai was first to speak, seeing as how he’d waken her.

“I believe that pearl to be enchanted.”

Leila groaned, falling back from her sitting-up position.

“With what? I feel as if I’ve downed twenty flagons of ale!”

She actually had, on one occasion. A tavern had been empty of patrons one night, and the owner had stepped out for a moment. Who could have resisted?

Zekai shrugged.

“Some potent form of dark magic, most likely. You passed out soon as the rain started.”

“I didn’t.”

Zekai looked confused.


Leila sighed, standing uncertainly.

“I saw...this massive, spiralling tower of shadows, spinning around me like some kind of...storm.”

She’d been hallucinating, most likely. And without smoking any opium, too. How utterly unfair.

Leila headed to the door, stumbling as she found Zekai appearing in her path.

“Good Azzasmar, Zekai, what are you doing?”

He smiled, a toothless, twisted smile, as his pale skin shifted to a weathered, leathery tone. His yellow eyes turned a pale blue, short black hair growing out and turning white. It was Risdaene. The witch.

“I’m just doing my job, dearie. And I truly hope you will do yours.”

Leila turned frantically, only to see Wirre transform into the witch as well.

“Nowhere to hide,” she said, grinning along with her twin, “We’ve got you, pretty one.”

The Falinn was quickly backed up into a corner, eyes widening as the witches closed in. Yes, she’d definitely been smoking opium. A whole pound of it, looked like. Along with those twenty flagons of ale. How disastrous.

The End

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